What do you want from your doctor? In this age of managed care and exorbitant health costs, it can seem like an almost futile question. I know I’ve often had to pick a doctor at random from the list that our insurance company provides and hope for the best, or a sick visit means going to the local walk-in clinic and getting whoever happens to be on duty. In both instances, I’ve had both good and bad experiences.
Dr. Jean Golden-Tevald, D.O. invites us to consider that initial question in her new book, Hopeand Healing: Ultimately What You Need From Your Doctor. She is the older sister of one of my close friends, has been a family physician for twenty-five years, and has special training in women’s health and NaProTechnology and the Creighton Model Fertility Care System. While she is in New Jersey and I am in Massachusetts I had the occasion to seek her services due to some reproductive health issues I was having last year and due to my religious beliefs, I felt extremely frustrated with my local doctor. She was willing to see me via a video-call and coordinated my care long-distance. Truly, it was some of the best care I have ever received. I felt heard and understood. It is from that vantage point that I review her book. I can vouch for the fact that Dr. Golden-Tevald practices what she preaches.
In sharing this book, Dr. Golden-Tevald writes, “I hope that you will be encouraged to strive for optimal health and to pursue a relationship with a doctor who will help you feel the best you can.” She works from a perspective of trying to understand the whole body and to “find and fix the underlying program.”
She acknowledges that healing may not always involve a cure. She works with many couples experiencing infertility. While some couples do ultimately conceive a child, others do not. She offers examples of cases where there was an emotional healing while not a physical one.
She also emphasizes the need for patients to be honest and for women to value ourselves enough to feel that the cost is worth it to care for ourselves. We so often care for everyone else to our own physical and emotional detriment.
Hope and Healing is a book worth reading. I wish that there were more doctors who shared Dr. Golden-Tevald’s philosophy in the world. I would recommend it especially to those in the medical profession because it offers a different example of what health care can look like.